LOCATION AND HISTORY:
AFI is incorporated in Alaska and is headquartered in Anchorage. The firm has all operations established at a single location - including management, administration, research, product development, engineering, and manufacturing. AFI has been developing, designing, fabricating, installing, and improving ground freezing systems since its inception in the early 1970's. AFI's technology is based on numerous patents held by Mr. Erwin "Erv" Long, the original being the Long Thermopile that was initially developed by Mr. Long in 1956. Long has also been recognized for his innovative solutions by receiving the Alaska Engineer of the Year award in 1978, and the ASCE's Harold R. Peyton award for Cold Regions Engineering in 1991.
AFI's Chief Engineer is Edward Yarmak, Jr., a professional engineer with over 29 years of geotechnical experience and over 26 years with the company. Both Long and Yarmak have been published in numerous professional publications and journals spanning their years of experience. They are also members of, and actively involved in, professional societies: ASCE, ASME, SME, ASTM, NSPE, and others.
OVERVIEW OF COMPANY CAPABILITIES:
AFI's capabilities broadly cover all aspects of thermosyphon product development as it relates to delivering state-of-the-art components to customers, facility owners, and end-users. These capabilities include the fabrication of Thermopiles, Thermoprobes, and related functional components.
Fabrication of thermosyphon products requires high quality welding, surface coating, and all of the preparatory steps associated with these activities. In the case of products that are greater than six inches in diameter, all construction must conform to the ASME pressure vessel code. This mandates that all stages of the operation conforms to the code rules and that the products are subjected to regular inspection at various stages of fabrication. Since AFI has one of the few ASME code authorized fabrication shops in Alaska, all thermosyphon products, regardless of diameter, are welded in conformance with the pressure vessel code.
Corrosion protection is also a critical step in the production of thermosyphon products. The steel surfaces of these devices are partly exposed to unfrozen soil and atmospheric moisture for scores of years and must be highly resistant to oxidation and corrosive action. These surfaces are cleaned and coated with one or both of AFI's coating processes; aluminum metallizing and fusion-bond epoxy, with the specific applications governing the coating requirement. Both processes are performed in-house.
Continuous improvement of the technology, products, components, and systems is also accomplished in-house. The AFI management, engineering, and production staff seek these opportunities and actively utilize technological developments in peripheral and related industries that complement AFI's technology. Refrigeration equipment, data gathering instrumentation, and computer utilization are just a few examples of peripheral industries that have significant positive impact on AFI's ability to advance its technology and are therefore actively monitored and utilized.